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Government The Internet Your Rights Online

Is Net Neutrality Really Needed? 705

darrad writes "An opinion piece over at the Wall Street Journal lays out an alternate theory on why we have new regulations from the FCC on Net Neutrality. There is a lot of talk about this subject, particularly among the tech sector. Most of the talk centers around preventing companies from charging more for traffic or black holing other traffic. However, the question should be asked, is granting control over the Internet to political appointees the way to go? Regardless of your political point of view shouldn't the Internet remain free from regulation?"
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Is Net Neutrality Really Needed?

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  • Re:Answers. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:01PM (#34645264) Homepage

    The real problem with government regulation is it can screw you in the face. Take Canada for example where the CRTC has decided that UBB is just fine, oh and we get to charge more. And you can only use 60gb/mo even if you're on another ISP. The SS Fail Train has set sail for the bottom of the Atlantic.

  • by theghost ( 156240 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:41PM (#34645918)

    US ISPs are doing their jobs properly, it's just that they define "doing their job properly" as maximizing profits. They don't actually need to serve the customer because there's almost no real competition.

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @05:44PM (#34645954)

    Or you trust business : you can choose (for a little more money probably, yes, deal with it) a better provider, additionally you can build something yourself

    Obviously you live in an alternate reality or on another continent.

    Here in the Americas, 90% of the populace is royally fucked for any sort of competition. We live in areas where even if there used to be competition, all the ISP's have gotten into little collusion agreements. My area used to have Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast all competing for cable service: TW and Comcrap both went into "charge under cost" to drive Verizon out, then entered into an agreement where TW agreed to pull out of half my state in exchange for Comcrap pulling out of the other half. End result: now TW and Comcrap, each in the other half of the state, rape the consumer up the ass with monopoly-level pricing.

  • by careysub ( 976506 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @06:01PM (#34646260)

    I keep hearing that "since most of us do not have multiple options for broadband" but is this true? There are 5 different places to get bandwidth in my area and I live in central Illinois.

    The government doesn't solve problems. It relishes control...

    Well, if we are playing "proof by anecdote" I live in a densely populated Southern California area and I have exactly one option for a broadband provider - Charter. No one else will provide BB service to my house. Maybe Verizon FiOS someday, but they won't make any promises.

    What are the nationwide stats?

  • Re:False Dichotomy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @08:30PM (#34647868)
    The FCC originally didnt censor broadcasting, either.

    The FCC has limited free speech my entire life.


    I'll take a throttled torrent over censorship EVERY FUCKING DAY OF THE FUCKING WEEK.


    "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." - Franklin
  • History lesson time (Score:4, Informative)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <`gro.uaeb' `ta' `sirromj'> on Wednesday December 22, 2010 @08:33PM (#34647884)

    > This was pretty much the case during the dial-up era, but the capital
    > demands for high-speed service makes it difficult to get a true
    > competitive marketplace.

    As someone who was there, yes the capital demands ramped up with the move to 56K and DSL (Go lookup the price of a fully loaded Portmaster 3 in 1996/7 vs a Portmaster 2 and a sack of modems) but that wasn't what changed. In that era the telcos were mostly out of the picture, selling (raping) the ISPs for dialup lines on a even basis. Then they realized the Internet wasn't just a passing fad and got in bigtime at prices nobody could hope to compete with. The head of AT&T was on the tube saying things like "Yea we expect to lose money for five plus years but we can afford it." Small 'Mom & Pop' operations started dying left and right about then as the price for 'unlimited' dialup fell through the $19.95/month level and started toward $9.99/month. Those prices were lower than the cost of telco service to handle a customer and that wasn't even taking into account the leased circuit upstream, normal business costs, etc.

    But there were still big players capitalized well enough to stay in the game and the laws were on their side. Then Rep Tauzin (R-BellSouth) spearheaded the effort to gut the CLECs, the markets panicked, the equipment makers were left with worthless paper for the equipment they had been self financing to the CLECs and before anyone realized what was happening it had spread throughout the Internet and the .bomb was in full swing.

    > Maybe the solution is for a municipal utility to provide a
    > fiber optic line from the residence to a C.O.

    That is one way. A better way would be to revisit the AT&T breakup and this time do it right. A regulated monopoly with the part that is a natural monopoly, the physical plant comprising the CO and the wires/fibers/right of ways and the rest a totally unregulated entity who buys access to an equal footing with as many additional players wish to enter the market.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.